Best Phones 2016 You Need to Know About
The smartphone industry has undergone huge changes in the past year. You have more phone plan options. No longer are you stuck signing a contract with a carrier, paying a couple hundred bucks up front, and agreeing to monthly fees for the duration of the contract. Here’s everything you need to know about the best smartphones when shopping for your next one.
The best plan depends on your needs. Still, you should be able to get the phone you want. And it just might be one of these. You have a few choices in operating systems, form factors, and pricing.
Best smartphone camera: iOS
The 12 MP camera on the iPhone 6S Plus edges out the iPhone 6S because it comes with optical image stabilization that takes shaper pictures. However, some people may not want the largest iPhone ever produced … so far. If the thought of carrying a 6-inch by 3-inch smartphone doesn’t sit well with you, the more practical iPhone 6S should suffice. Aside from the optical image stabilization, the camera is the same as its big sibling’s.
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus feature pressure-sensitive 3D touch, a faster processor, and two times more RAM than the iPhone 6. They’re also stronger and more resistant to bending.
Best smartphone camera: Android
The LG V10, bigger than the LG G4, surpasses most phones with its manual mode (a rarity in smartphones) and superb camera control. This phone makes amateur photographers look like pros. Sporting a 16 MP rear camera and a 5 MP duo selfie camera, the droid phone outperforms rivals in low-light settings and records brilliant videos.
A word of warning. Manual mode tends to be a little more complicated and may require reading the manual to make the most of it. Nonetheless, hobbyists and serious photographers will appreciate the LG V10 cameras, with its 5.7-inch display at 513 ppi.
You don’t have a choice of storage options as the phone only comes with 64 GB of storage. Here’s the great news. That can be upgraded up to 2 terabytes courtesy the microSD slot. Yes, that’s terabytes. Considering this has a powerhouse of a camera, you’ll need it to hold all those great 4k videos you take.
Best smartphone to get wet
The Sony Xperia Z5 has the distinction of being the only major flagship phone with IP68 level of waterproofing. According to Sony, this mean it can be submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes and still work. Of course, we don’t recommend putting it to the test. Even Sony’s website says not to drop it in water. Carrying this rugged phone, you’ll worry less about spills, splashes, and taking important calls in the rain. It’s also dust tight as it promises complete protection against dust contact.
Another neat feature is the fingerprint scanner built into the power button so you can turn it on and unlock the phone with one press. The Android phone comes with a 5.2-inch screen, 3 GB memory, 32 GB internal storage expandable up to 200 GB with a microSD card, 23 MP rear camera, and 5.1 MP selfie camera
Best affordable brand smartphone
Although the OnePlus 2 likes to call itself a flagship killer offering features comparable to major brands for fewer dollars, Motorola Moto G costs roughly $200 less than the OnePlus 2. For around $200, you get a 5-inch display, 13 MP with dual LED flash, microSD slot, and all-day battery life. It’s also IPX7 water resistant. While it doesn’t have water submerging superpowers, its certification means it can handle a little splash, rain, or spill.
Moto G may not have top-end performance, but it serves up all the features most users want in a smartphone for the third of the price of a typical Android flagship phone.
Best phone that won’t keep you waiting
Bloated apps, hefty HD games, and power-hungry videos can slow down a phone’s performance. Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge refuse to slow down for anything. These Android phones come with Exynos 7420 processor, Quad-core 1.5 GHz and Quad-core 2.1 GHz CPU, and 3GB RAM. Both phones have smashing multi-core performance. Plus, they have everything you need to optimize performance on one screen.
Which to get? If you like curved screens, the Galaxy S6 Edge is the one to get. Want to save money? Go with the Samsung Galaxy S6. For a large-screen and handwriting features, see the next item.
You can get the best of the Samsung Galaxy S6 in a tablet-sized body with the Galaxy Note 5. The S6’s display is 5.1 inches, weighs 4.8 ounces, and has 3 GB of RAM. The Galaxy Note 5 is 5.7 inches, weighs 6 ounces, and has 4 GB of RAM. It boasts one of the best displays and sports an optically stabilized 16 MP camera.
One thing that makes the phablet stand out from its Galaxy S6 Edge+ fraternal twin is that it comes with an integrated S Pen stylus for writing. It’s powerful, fast, crystal clear, and darn expensive.
Best smartphone for sound
Review after review declare the Nexus 6P as the best Android phone. Nexus phones are popular Androids because they come with less bloatware and no skins, and receive Android updates fast. Huawei’s design features a 5.7-inch display with Gorilla Glass 4 protection. It’s one of the top performers as its power comes from a Snapdragon 810 CPU.
It’s front-facing stereo speakers stream magnified sounds. Listening to music is pure pleasure. At full volume, the audio comes through loud and clear. If you’d like to use headsets less often, this is the phone for you. What’s more is that cameras on past Nexuses never measured up. The Nexus 6P breaks the curse with its 12 MP that launches quickly and snaps crisp pictures.
Best phone with two features disappearing from modern phones
The LG G4 offers what many phones don’t: A removable battery and a microSD card slot. To find both of these features in a top phone is becoming rare. Fewer phones come with removable batteries because they add bulk. Not being able to remove the battery forces users to get help for battery problems. More Android phones forgo the card slot in hopes users will upgrade to phones with more storage. (Read: more expensive.)
The 5.5-inch screen on the LG G4 has the first IPS Quantum Display with a remarkable 534 ppi pixel density generating vibrant colors and images. In English, it has more and brighter colors with more contrast. The 16 MP camera and 8 MP video chat camera capture high quality images. It could stand to improve its color sensor and correction capabilities.
Best Windows Phone 10
Prefer a complete Windows 10 experience? Then, there’s no question which phone you should get. Microsoft Lumia 950 is the one for you. Unfortunately, it comes with a high price tag. As of this writing, it’s the only new Windows Phone that comes loaded with Windows 10.
The Lumia 950 has a 20 MP rear camera that captures 4k video. You can unlock the phone with a face or fingerprint. It supports MicroSD cards allowing you to add up to 200 GB of storage. It’s one of the first devices to come with USB Type-C reversible connector and the fast charging USB 3.1. Many people have bought Windows Phones only to be disappointed when they find out it won’t sync Windows Phone with Outlook. If you still want this phone, you can do Windows Phone sync with Akruto. (Works with Android and iOS too.)
If you want a more affordable Windows Phone, your only option is a Windows Phone 8.1. Not all is lost. It’s possible some of them will receive the Windows 10 upgrade. Or you can upgrade it to Windows 10 via the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview.
Best BlackBerry smartphone
BlackBerry may just have saved itself with the BlackBerry Priv, an Android phone with a built-in physical keyboard. This one stands out because it contains two of the BlackBerry’s strengths: security and physical keyboard. Then it swaps the BlackBerry OS for Android to open the door wide to its huge library of apps. The Priv steals a page out of the Galaxy S6 playbook as it has curved edges.
Key features include a 5.4-inch 1440 x 2560 AMOLED touchscreen with 540 ppi. The physical keyboard hides behind the screen, slide it down to access it. With the keyboard open, the BlackBerry Priv is 7.2 inches and it shrinks to 5.7 inches when closed. The camera is 18 MP with dual-tone LED flash. The 2MP selfie camera features panorama mode. If you’re looking for more security and a physical keyboard, you’d do well with this BlackBerry gamechanger. If these aren’t important, then it may not be the smartphone for you.
So did you find your next phone in this list of best phones 2016? If not, check out this Shop for Cellphones Collection that helps you shop and compare phones to find the best mobile for your needs. Did we miss a winner? Let us know in the comments.